Preview: Hamilton at Fairfield

Fairfield QB Talon Fisher (photo by Shelby Frieszell/ 

The Blitz 5 Game of the Week takes us to Fairfield where the Indians will square off against GMC rival Hamilton. It has been a rough start for both schools with COVID rearing its ugly head. This is a chance to kickstart the second half of the season and pick up momentum heading into the playoffs. For one of these programs, a welcomed and much-needed win is going to be a huge confidence builder moving forward.

#16 HAMILTON BIG BLUE (1-2, 0-2) at #17 FAIRFIELD INDIANS (1-3, 1-2)
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m.
Fairfield Alumni Stadium
Follow on Twitter @TSFootball 

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Running back Kaleb Johnson is the heart-and-soul of the Hamilton offense. The senior is averaging 138 yards per game on the ground with four touchdowns. He has verbally committed to the University of California. At 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, Breeon Ishmail is a big target who needs more touches at receiver. The junior has just four receptions for 66 yards and one touchdown. He has offers from Cincinnati, Eastern Kentucky, Iowa State, Pitt, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Elijah Givens has been a bright spot in all three phases of the game for the Big Blue. Givens has amassed 391 all-purpose yards with four touchdowns on 33 touches.

Fairfield has talent galore on the offensive side of the football. It all starts up front with linemen, seniors Augie Groh, Kendrix Goodman and junior James Thomas. Goodman has offers from Ball State, Kentucky, Marshall, and Pitt. Groh has offers from Air Force, Army, Furman, Marshall, and Youngstown State. Quarterback Talon Fisher is a dual threat with his arm and legs. The sophomore has amassed 2,213 yards of total offense (1,074 passing, 1,139 rushing) and accounted for 17 touchdowns (14 rushing, three passing) in 12 varsity starts. Fisher has an offer from Buffalo. Junior Jordon Jackson ran for a career high 132 yards last week against Princeton. Twin brother Josiah Jackson, a defensive back, picked up his first offer from Bowling Green. He has 61 total tackles and three takeaways (two INT, one FR) in an Indians’ uniform. 

TEAM TRENDS: Hamilton made the playoffs for the second straight year in 2020. It marked the first back-to-back postseason appearances in school history. COVID protocols shut the Big Blue down for two games. The effect of the layoff has been quite noticeable on the defensive side of the ball. Hamilton has allowed 54 and 49 points since getting back on the field. The Big Blue has given up 12 rushing touchdowns, allowed 259.7 yards on the ground and 7.2 yards per carry on the season. 

Fairfield is looking for a program best, seventh consecutive playoff appearance (all under head coach Jason Krause). The Indians broke a streak of seven straight winning seasons last fall. They are 3-10 since the beginning of 2020.

Hamilton: Nate Mahon (12-12 at Hamilton, third year; 52-37 overall, ninth year)

Fairfield: Jason Krause (59-51 at Fairfield, 11th year; 144-119 overall, 25th year)

Hamilton (six appearances, 0-6) – 2020, 2019, 2010, 2001, 1997, 1994 

Fairfield (12 appearances, 6-11) – 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2005, 2000, 1999, 1986 (State Champion), 1985 

HAMILTON’S KEYS TO VICTORY: Play defense, stop the run and force three-and-outs more consistently. Opponents are 9-of-15 on third and fourth-down conversions the past two games. Return coverage on special teams must do a 180-degree turnaround after giving up a kickoff return and punt return for touchdowns last week against Lakota West.

FAIRFIELD’S KEYS TO VICTORY: Close out the game. The Indians have been outscored 45-29 in the second half of their three losses. To go along with Fisher, the introduction of Jordon Jackson in the backfield gives Fairfield a dynamic dimension. Let the ground game shine and it should be a triumphant night.

Prediction: Fairfield 34, Hamilton 31



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